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Israel-Palestine Latest: The East Jerusalem Demolition/Settlements Argument

Following this week's "redevelopment" plan --- the demolition of 22 houses in East Jerusalem's Silwan neighborhood --- Israel's Public Security Minister Yitzhak Ahronovitch told the Knesset on Wednesday that Israeli police expects "widespread disturbances" in and around the area.

The UN later  Wednesday called Israel's plan to demolish Arab homes "unhelpful" and "contrary to international law".

"The Secretary-General is deeply concerned about the decision by the Jerusalem municipality to advance planning for house demolitions and further settlement activity in the area of Silwan," UN Chief Ban Ki-moon's press office said.

Gaza Latest (25 June): Iranian Flotilla “Cancelled”; US Says Aid Ships “Irresponsible”; Europe Calls for End to Blockade
Middle East Inside Line: Coalition Changes in Israel?; Netanyahu’s War for Legitimacy; Israel Warns Lebanon

On Thursday, the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) called on Israel to halt the development of new settlements in occupied territories and East Jerusalem.

However, as the end of the current freeze on settlement constructions in the West Bank approaches, the Likud Central Committee voted on Thursday to resume building both in East Jerusalem and the West Bank.

There is one twist in the story: Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu did not participate in the meeting, thus escaping for the moment criticism from Washington (for endorsing the renewal) or from the Israeli public (for opposing it).

September will be a decisive month on the issue. Until then, Netanyahu may be looking for the conditions to turn indirect discussions into direct talks, moving the burden of responsibility from settlements to Palestinian participation in negotiations.

Reader Comments (1)

I wonder if these same Iranian villagers demolishing Baha'i houses in their own town get indignant when watching Iranian TV news reports on how Palestinian houses are being demolished in East Jerusalem?

Fifty Houses of Baha’i Residents Demolished in a Mazandaran Village" rel="nofollow">

June 26, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterCatherine

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